Friday, May 30, 2008

Appreciating Today

I think it is partly my age . . . several of my friends have cancer, one was hospitalized (and released, thank God) for possible heart issues. Some of my friends have died. The generation just ahead of me is making that transition from independent living to assisted living or have already passed on into their heavenly home. I've had my share of injuries, from a fall through the ceiling, to sledding accidents, falls on ice, etc that leave me with joints that are sometimes cranky with me.

The fall through the ceiling from the attic to the ground floor was the most serious. I injured my back and spent most of the summer sitting in a chair. But that fall could have been fatal . . . I will always believe that if I had been turned differently when I fell that I would have hit my head on the stone hearth. When I first landed, the thought went through my head that I could end up paralyzed. The next thought that went through my head was that whatever had occurred, God was with me and that it WOULD be OK. During the first week, each day I could do something that I was unable to do the day before. When I went in for the office visit a week later, I envied the people that could walk normally across the room. As I continued my recovery, life had a joy because I was able to do something, or be somewhere. By the end of the summer, I was able to travel. I had tears in my eyes when we were at the Wolf Creek Ski area. During the fall, I was so glad to be able to go to the football games and watch my son play his first season of football. I was grateful for so many things. Life itself was joyful . . . I was so glad to be alive and able to walk and able to do things with my family. It is hard to describe that special feeling when you've had something major, something life threatening happen and you have lived through it.

I have a photoshop student who has been fighting cancer for a number of years. When I first met him, he was weak and in need of a bone marrow transplant. Without the transplant, his days were numbered. I've been following his progress on Caring Bridge. The bone marrow transplant has been successful, his energy and vitality are returning. His posts have been very encouraging to me because they are reminders to treasure life each day. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut . . . going about our daily routines, maybe wishing we were doing something else. But, life is precious, life is fragile, and life is transient. We are human, we forget.

When I read Joel's posts, the memory of how precious life felt that summer after the fall rises to the surface. I want to rediscover that joy and wonder and appreciation of how good it really is to be alive and relatively healthy.

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